Cry of Angels

Cry of Angels

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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552106100
  • 9780552106108

Review Text

Once you read the first few pages of Jeff Fields' first novel - you suspicion rightly that it's a good book with reminders of that Mockingbird which was never killed or quite equaled, of Larry McMurtry and of John Weston. In other words one which is firmly based in the reality of a small town in the South where there are a variety of local characters - Characters - and a few others trying to escape the conditions of loneliness, prejudice and suffering some of which is all their own or as Jayell, a self-made architect, whose heart is on the side of the poor, says "I have this notion that maybe this world is the hell of the angels. . . and all those fancy friggin' dreams we have are only the cries of those poor angels." But then he's always been a "wild hair" and remains that way in spite of the efforts of the schoolteacher from Atlanta, Gwen, who tries to make him into "nouveau middle class"; and then there's Earl Whitaker, thirteen when he starts telling this story, who doesn't learn until much later just how he escaped the fire which should have burned him to death - he lives with a great-aunt in a boarding house; and finally Em, a big Indian, onetime ironworker, current ratkiller, who has exorcised some of the kid's demons. The novel takes its time (perhaps a little too much) in reaching the confrontation-conflict which will be between Jayell, primarily, and those who dislodge the poor blacks from their shacks in the questionable interest of a "model community" - good and evil but not just across colorfast lines. The scene is Quarrytown, Georgia but it could be any Southern town with sites you'll recognize from the back porch to the cemetery. Jeff Fields is a generous, comic, genuine writer with a lot of humanity left over. (Kirkus Reviews)show more